Hearing the sound of water splashing into her buckets and pitchers, Riyon Harding collected water to prepare for the next time the water goes out.

Shes lived at the Viewpointe neighborhood on Skyline and Swan for about three years and is used to the water going out due to ongoing repairs for leaks in their water system.

I usually grab the dog and leave so I usually stay with a friend until the coast is clear, Harding said.

Her neighbor Mark Flint has been living in his house across the street since the year 2000. Since then he has seen an increase in the amount of repairs plumbers have had to do.

For the past ten years he said those repairs have ramped up.

On his street cars drive over patches of concrete, patches that now cover repairs done by plumbers on aging infrastructure that includes PVC pipes and rocky ground.

In just the first quarter of 2023, Flint said they lost over 1.4 million gallons of water. Repairs have cost them about 750 thousand dollars in the past 11 years, and half a million of those dollars were spent in the past five years.

Their water system is a bit more complicated than some of the other Tucson neighborhoods. The Viewpointe neighborhood is on a private water system that receives water from Tucson Water.

That water will then go to homeowners and homeowners are billed by a third party.

Riley Engineering, who the HOA hired to assess the system said the system was not properly built back in the 1970s because it was built on rocky conditions. Those conditions have led to cracks in older PVC pipes that arent meant to withstand the soil in the Foothills that often rubs against them.

However, Flint doesnt see replacing their water system as his first viable option because its so expensive. He said that would raise HOA fees on residents about $150 a month for a commercial loan that would last about 20 years.

When asked about whether hed be willing to replace the system, he said Not unless it is the absolute last resort and there are no other options.

Harding, who is living on her savings and trying to build up her business said she wouldnt be able to fork over extra money in fees.

Its challenging and it does keep me up at night. Because will I have to move because I cant afford the HOA fees and I cant afford to live here, she said.

State Senator Priya Sundareshan who is in charge of District 18, the area the Foothills neighbors live in, has been working with Flint and some of the neighbors, hoping to help them get a state grant through the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona.

Shes also hoping to introduce laws that would require contractors to build adequate water infrastructure.

If we are building in Arizona, that we know that that development is going to provide a secure water supply and there really should be no exemptions. I think that we need to provide the security for our residents everywhere, Sundareshan said.

However, Sundareshan said the neighbors best solution could be using Tucson Water as their main water system.

For now Foothills residents like Harding are just hoping for the cheapest solution.

I wouldnt feel like I was up against a clock, racing to get income before the giant assessment, Harding said.